There may have been various reasons why one did not learn how to swim during his/ her life like no infrastructure or childhood fear. In our life, we have heard this countless number of times – You Do Not Know How To Swim? – and have been fed up of answering it again and again. According to a research undertaken by the Amateur Swimming Association or also known as ASA, 1 in 5 adults (20%) do not know how to swim.
Whether you want to improve your swimming abilities or are a complete first-timer, you should know that there are many more just like you, facing exactly what you are facing.
You may ask yourself a question everytime which may have been a reason for not learning how to swim and it is – Is it too late now to learn?
Alyson Zell, Aquatic Business manager, Freedom Leisure said “When adults decide to learn to swim it is usually for a good reason – before a holiday, so they can join their children who can swim, or they want to participate in an activity where they need to be able to swim, such as sailing”.
Zell said that it is never too late to swim, and not learning how to swim will only result in missing out of the health benefits and obviously fun.
Before we tell you how to prepare yourself for swimming, let us know if there are any real-life benefits of swimming.
Benefits Of Swimming
Swimming does not only make a person physically healthy but also makes the person feel great mentally. It is said that exercising swimming for just 30 mins a day and 3 days a week can help reduce the stress levels, improve sleeping pattern, and also lowers the chances of depression and anxiety.
Benefits of swimming on physical attributes are second to none, as it helps build muscle strength, cardiovascular fitness, and obviously endurance. In addition, Swimming helps retain healthy weight, lungs and heart.
So let’s put on our gear and get ready to know the pro tips for people who want to learn or are at a beginner stage of learning swimming.
Essentials Before Getting To The Pool
Staying calm in water is chief, before you make your way to the swimming pool it is very important to take a couple of minutes and calm your nerves.
Zell says, “The more relaxed you are the easier it will be to learn”. He says that though it is easier said than done, however, a swimmer should practise submerging its face in the water and gently breathing out in the water, as this is a very important skill for a swimmer to possess. Zell adds, “You can easily do this at home in the bath, shower or sink while your feet are on dry land”.
1. Invest In Swim Gear
If you really want to learn how to swim then you must invest in your swim gear as they will vastly benefit you and make the process of learning all the more enjoyable and relatively easier. Zell say that one should choose the “suitable swimwear” which should not “impede” with the movements. Also swimming cap is a must, even when people say tying up hair works just as fine.
Good googles goes a long way as they let you see underwater more easily.
Additionally, there are nose clips and earplugs that you can buy for yourselves as they stop the water from entering into places which can cause you discomfort while you are underwater in the swimming pool. They can also protect you from developing ear infections and sinus problems, the two problems that can stop a person from swimming.
Kickboards and hand paddles are also the two gears that will help you a lot in your early days and help build strength in your legs as well as arms. These also act as flotation aids while you are learning to do that all by yourself.
We do not advise you to but the kickboards and hand paddles before joining the swimming classes as at many instances, as if you would hire an instructor then he/ she may have them and provide you with them.
2. Practise Breathing Techniques
Swimming is not about holding your breath, it is about the ability to breathe. Breathing is very important in swimming and before trying the tempting deep end of the swimming pool, make sure you master the art of breathing while swimming.
Even though breathing is an involuntary action, you will realise that focusing on swimming while controlling your breathing is very difficult. To overcome this, your instructor will give you some techniques, and until then you can try control breathing while doing your daily errands like walking, running, cooking food, or even while showering.
3. Invest Time In Correcting Techniques
Swimming is amongst the sports where technique is the key, it does not really matter how many reps you do in a day, if your basics are all over the place then you will not reap any benefits. Ever watched Shinchan in your childhood? He used to Doggy Paddle, and Initially, doggy paddling is perfectly fine and easy to learn, but neither it is efficient as other techniques, not it is elegant, think of doggy paddling in an amusement park with people all around you. Exactly! Go slow and master the techniques and speed.
For that, your position is the “key”. A correct position of your body will reduce the resistance and assist in buoyancy. Zell says, “Try to practice gliding by using floats, buoyancy aids or partner support and learn how to regain a standing position. It is important to learn how to stop once you get started”.
Decide what technique works the best for you and feel comfortable doing. There is no right or wrong stroke to begin with as it all depends on your natural ability. More often than not, adult learners face difficulty in conquering breaststroke leg action.
4. Resting And Being Hydrated Is Key
Just like any sport, swimming, too, can make you fatigued as water is nearly 800 times denser than air which makes any activity done in the water much more difficult. Try running in a swimming pool (filled with water of course) and you will know.
Getting tired while in water is no fun, what you can do to overcome is simply float, float on your back in a starfish position (with hands and legs spread out) will let you keep your face clear of the water. This is also a safety move that you will be taught in your initial classes.
All this exercise will make you dehydrate, and god please, do not drink from the swimming pool. Make sure you keep a bottle of fresh water nearby the pool and drink from it as soon as you feel thirsty.
In the end, it is very important to do some mild exercises post swimming to avoid injuries.